It's funny how we find relief in the least expected places. Yesterday was a trying day. Very. Trying.
Urgent emails, phone calls, sms-es were raining down on my already grumpy ass. I too had to send out emails. phone calls and bitchy sms-es while driving around town from one meeting to another. PLUSSSSSS - I had an tourism related article to finish that was waaaaay behind schedule. It didn't help that the wireless in the office was not working!
I drove out and found a quiet corner to multi-task. Something we men do so very, very well.
Kinabalu mountain throws out tantalizing whispers of lore and legend even as you trek through the pine forests on your way up the the granite giant that seems to slumber among the mists of the fledgling dawn. Your guide ahead looks back to check on you and...
"Boss, the Malaysian manager said his regional boss doesn't want to do it!"
"Yeah! He said his boss said they were swamped and said they had no time."
"Wathefukman!!! It simple only what! And the regional dude already said no prob!"
"Dunno boss, the local dude asked to you call his boss!"
"Give me the local flers number first. I wanna check."
"Hello? Hey apa ler? Your boss kata tak boleh ah? Simple aje ler? HUH? Eh!!!! I said just tell me what you can do. BUKAN ALL la! you ada convey to your boss tak? Ada???? OKOK, i call dia. Thanks"
"Bro! hey wassup? yeah you free tomorrow? Yeah la, tot come over yum cha. Hey that thing can we just go over it again tomorrow? Can? OK man, set! See you early la, kena breakfast. K, bye."
...."Ok...um..." type typetaptap tapity tap tap...... standing on the top of Low's Peak you look across Sabah as the warm reddish yellow hue of the morning sun starts to creep across the cold rocky landscape and starts to bathe the Land Below The Wind with warmth and colors. You wish that moment could be saved in your soul like....
"Yes Dato sir."
"Can you give me the proposal? I haven't seen it yet?"
"I sent to your PA on Monday sir."
"Really???? Sure? okok I check."
Kuala Kubu Baru is charm personified. Cliched as it is, the only words I can use - the little town that time forgot. Sitting in the little Indian restaurant eating fresh roti canai on a Saturday morning, sipping hot strong coffee as KKB wakes up in the morning, makes you yearn for the power to cloak the town from the encroaching threat of......
"Chindiana! Hey sorry man, my PA just printed for me. I will read this moment!"
"Haha! No prob sir. Take care and see you next month."
You will eventually startle a jungle fowl hiding in the tall lalang grass as the island is a haven for avian squatters. Seagulls, hawks and even storks swoop and dance on the warm sea breeze in the slightly muggy afternoon air. The trail is endless and you just know there will be some relic of the past hiding among overgrown bushes, short trees or peeking between the oil palm trees. The red earth crunches comfortingly under your Nikes.......
I check my email.
"Hey, you don't have the contact for the editors? But I thought...... Ooooh, you only have the editors for the Monkey Weddings sub section. But earlier I was told that... never mind. Um okok. let me see what i can do."
"Bro, your girl friend has a list for all the editors for the Horny Humanitarian sections of magazines and papers?" Fantastic dude! Can ask her to email me? Thanks man! We kena breakfast tomorrow? Um..wait, how bout day after? Can? Set man! Dim sum? Fuck la you fat bugger....haha! okok.... Take care man!"
And as the kayaks reach the open sea a a monkey with a horny humanitarian rammed up his arse wanders over from the ocean floor, drunk like a shit faced piece of......
and as the kayaks reach the open sea we hear our friends behind us shout out in delight. They are pointing above us and reaching for their cameras. It's fantastic. We're being tracked by sea eagles who are following our kayak convoy across the Straits of Malacca. They're majestic as they wing above us like an escort of WW2 Corsairs above a naval fleet. In the bright sun soaked sky the eagles look almost golden as they stay the course with us until we reach the rocky outcrop that was to be our pit stop for lunch. Lunch is sandwiches. Home made bread from Ipoh sandwiching freshly made sardines and eggs with a tiny sprinkling of sugar.
"Hey babe, why so grumpy?"
"Oh hey it's you."
The wind is blowing hard now. We see the sky darken ahead. We'll need to push off soon. Our kayaks nudge each other restlessly...
"Hey sorry, I had a long day."
"Its late. Let me buy you dinner."
"........... thanks but its not so bad now. I got to finish this. How bout breakfast day after? no wait...dinner tomorrow? Cool! Its a date then."
Our kayaks nudge each other restlessly. It looks like they can't wait to start the journey back. I look at the darkening sky creeping above the ocean and turn back to face our destination which is as bright and blue as the grey and black behind me. What a rush! The rest of the group seem to feel the same. We're going to outrun the storm. We've got to, only because there is no other choice.